Violinist Mae to ski for Thailand at the Sochi Winter Olympics
Violinist Vanessa Mae is set to ski for Thailand at the Winter Olympics in Russia next month, the Thai team announced yesterday.
The 35-year-old former child prodigy, whose father is Thai, is one of two skiers due to represent the kingdom in Sochi, team leader Varin Tansupasiri said.
Mae, born in Singapore to Thai and Chinese parents, grew up in London where she became renowned at a musician for what she has described as her "techno-acoustic fusion".
Varin said Thailand expected to receive formal notification of her qualification from the International Ski Federation yesterday. Because Thailand has no skiers ranked in the world top 500, it is allowed to send one man and one woman for the slalom and giant slalom events if they have an average of no more than 140 points over five internationally recognised races.
A stronger performance earns fewer points.
Mae, who has been training in Zermatt in Switzerland for several years, appeared to have narrowly qualified after competing in Slovenia over the weekend. She did so under her father's surname, Vanakorn.
"It would appear that she's done it. She's done it by a whisker, but she's done it," her manager Giles Holland told the BBC.
Until now the only Thai to ski at the Winter Olympics was Prawat Nagvajara, who competed in Salt Lake City in 2002 and at Pragelato in Italy in 2006.